photo Tara Benwell Listen to News with Tara Benwell - Instructions:
1. Preview the vocabulary and read the gapfill text.
2. Play the news report and try to fill in the blanks.
3. Answer the comprehension questions by writing full sentences.
4. Use the discussion question to write an essay or discuss the story with other students.
5. Click "show Answers" to see the full text.
6. Pretend to be a news anchor by reading each story out loud.

dateline: 24 February 2015

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Birdman Wins Best Picture

Pre-Listening Vocabulary

  • washed-up: once famous, but not popular anymore
  • torment: to irritate a person over and over
  • star: to be one of the most important people in a show
  • take: a single capture of film footage
  • cinematography: the art of film-making; e.g., lighting, framing, colour, focus

Birdman Wins Best Picture

The film Birdman won Best Picture at the 2015 on Sunday. In the award-winning film, Michael Keaton, who is famous for his role as Batman (1989 and 1992), plays a washed-up Hollywood actor who was once famous for his role as a superhero named Birdman. The voice of Birdman torments the actor, and he attempts to reinvent his career by writing, , and starring in his own Broadway film. Birdman was edited in a unique way, making it seem it was filmed in . The film also won Academy Awards for best Cinematography, Director, and .

Comprehension Questions

    1. What awards did Birdman win at the Oscars?
    2. Why does the report mention Michael Keaton?
    3. What was unique about the editing of this film?

Discussion Questions: Why was the casting of Michael Keaton significant? If you have seen this film, do you think he played the part well? Why, or why not?

show Answers

Written and recorded by Tara Benwell for EnglishClub
Tara Benwell is a Canadian freelance writer and editor who specializes in materials and articles for the ELT industry.
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